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PETA urges Schembri to stop using leather for cars interiors
15
Feb '08
PETA dispatched a letter to David Schembri, president of Smart USA, the company that just introduced the Daimler AG-owned line of purportedly Earth-friendly subcompact Smart cars in the U.S. PETA is urging Schembri to stop using leather for the cars' steering wheels and gearshift knobs and to stop offering leather seats in its Passion model.

In the letter, PETA points out that using leather--the production of which is devastating to the environment and human health, not to mention the animals who are killed for their skins--undermines the environmentally beneficial features that make the tiny gas-savers appealing to socially conscious buyers. Leather products are loaded with formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, chromium, alkalis, solvents, and biocides.

Leather-production facilities destroy nearby waterways and communities. Producing leather also requires vast amounts of natural resources and causes dangerous occupational-health hazards in the tanning process. Additionally, raising animals for leather--or their flesh--uses vast quantities of fossil fuels and is a leading cause of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Animals killed for their skins suffer from extreme crowding and confinement, deprivation of food and water, castration without painkillers, branding, tail-docking, dehorning, and cruel treatment during transport and slaughter. Some leather imported from China is made from the skins of dogs and cats.

"Smart can't have it both ways: touting its cars as eco-friendly and then plastering them with toxic and Earth-degrading leather," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "Smart would be wise to do the planet, its customers, and cows a big favor and give leather interiors the boot."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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